Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Anatomy of a prank

Last April Fools Day Aaron got me good. I mean really good, so this year it was payback time.

It's no secret we're looking for a new dog. It's a pursuit we visit on a daily basis, so it seemed the perfect topic for a great prank. I knew it would deeply offend Aaron to come home with a dog without his prior approval, so the question was how to go about it in a believable fashion...

Carolyn helped me come up with the game plan. Once the framework was in place, the only issue was coming up with a suitable dog, one who was opposite enough from our wants but was still believable. Jade offered to lend her dog, but Aaron would never believe I'd bring a small, wire-haired terrier mix home. He'd met Nelly when Tim brought her over, so she was out. But then Melinda came to the rescue with a viable candidate.

The night before the trickery I began prepping him.

"Hey, do you need the car tonight?" I asked, "Because I'd rather BART in and leave it in the east bay tonight since I'll have to drive in to meet Melinda at the shelter tomorrow."

The wheels were greased, and we made work and dinner plans around the supposed shelter visit.

All day I played it cool. Aaron told me about how he tried to trick Jeff but was foiled. I pretended to be awed by his ability to pull off a joke, all the while biding my time.

I closed the store and raced home. I texted, "call me ASAP!", promptly turned off my phone, did the dishes, fed Xochitl and Pirate, stashed them away, and raced over to pick up Ruckus from his foster home. By the time I got back, Aaron had beaten me home. I tethered the dog up outside, and went in.

The boy and the dog were playing on the couch so I quietly walked over to return The Roach to her crate and explained to Aaron that I had picked up a little something at the shelter. "Don't panic," I explained, "I only agreed to foster. We don't have to keep him. He's not normally what I go for and I know he's a little different than what we've discussed, but there was just something about him and I couldn't leave him behind."

And in I came with Ruckus.

"our new dog"

Aaron's jaw dropped.

It's not that Ruckus is a bad dog, he's just exactly the opposite of what we're looking for. And, in Aaron's mind, we were stuck with him.

As the dog pulled and strained to explore his new surroundings I talked about how cute I thought he was, showed Aaron his missing tooth, and explained the situation would be temporary. I could see the pain in his face. He was trying to like this dog, he really was, but the possibility of this large, unruly dog in our home was too much. He looked like he was going to cry.

"So, how long?" he began to ask, and then I broke down and spilled the beans. I couldn't keep it up any more.

To say Aaron was relieved was an understatement. He knows I'm a terrible liar so he never dreamed I had it in me to pull off such an elaborate scheme. It totally caught him off guard.

After the laughter died down, we settled into fixing dinner and playing with Ruckus.
After he realized the dog was leaving, Aaron loosened up and actually grew fond of the big lug. He confessed that, before I walked through the door with Ruckus, he'd been secretly excited to see what I'd come home with. Unfortunately Ruckus was way too innapropriately interested in Pirate (and Xochitl) for it to ever work out, but he did get some lovin' and a peanut butter kong before we returned him home.

And although I'm proud of myself for pulling off my first ever April Fools prank, I'm a little wary of what wrath next year will incur...


Aroo Studio said...

payback is a bitch...(yikes!)

Home2k9 said...

Seriously... next year might suck a big one. :o) Way to go! Totally worth it, right?